|Chinese S 20 SSK|
Pakistan reaffirming its stand for a modernized naval force, has signed a deal with the Chinese for eight advanced diesel electric submarines equipped with AIP systems. The submarines will be built in a Chinese yard and will be delivered to Pakistan in the least possible time frame.
Pakistan has stressed upon modernizing its aging and depleting naval force. Due to its limited defence outlay, Pakistan has reaffirmed its stand to modernize the underwater arm and to look at building naval vessels and has turned down reports of it acquiring an aircraft carrier. To a country which mainly depends on contribution and transfer of weaponry from USA to modernizing its force, this is an over stretch program in any means. America for well over a decade is trying with all its might to check the expansion the Chinese forces in the IOR and Pacific regions.
With Pakistan aligning itself with the Chinese it has to be seen if America will really fund this ambitious project of Pakistan. China has been working with all its resources to lure the countries in the IOR to be part of it’s over ambitious “Pearl of String”. Pakistan has already drawn up plans with China to strength the mutual relationship they share, China has agreed to invest in developing Pakistan and has agreed to build roads to help connect Pakistan with central China which will help in developing the trade. The MOU signed for Chandar port has strengthened the ties between the countries.
Is this a threat to the Indian Navy?
Yes it is!! But it’s a threat India can handle and there is not many things India has to be concerned of. The P75 and P 75 I are slated to increase the Indian navy submarine warfare significantly. The under test Arihant and the other vessels of the class promise to provide India with a guaranteed Second strike capability and Indian navy is expected to get around four submarines of this class. The submarines Pakistan will be opting for are conventionally powered subs and are basically hunter killer submarines and cannot perform deterrence patrol missions and come with their own set of drawbacks.
These submarines can pose a serious threat to India’s CBG’s and forward operating vessels, but thanks to the superior Anti-submarine warfare measures the Indian navy is equipped with. The ASW has received importance, the commissioning of modern ASW vessels and the procurement of P8I long range surveillance aircrafts are a few measures the Navy has taken.
The North Korean forces have successfully test fired a MRBM from an modified Diesel electric submarine, the exact platform used to test fire the missile is yet to be released, US had recently published images of modified North Korean submarines having two Silo's capable to launch large size ballistic missiles. But surprisingly the North Koreans fired a Russian made modified R 27 IRBM with more than 4000 kilometer operational range.
This development has shocked the western bloc, while countries with access to advanced technologies are struggling to take minute steps in the field, North Korea has made a leap that could have needed years for the other countries. It’s debatable how the sanction imposed country could make such developments even as its citizens struggle for the basic amenities. Chances of North Korea developing on its own are a very bleak possibility but at the same time outside help to the crippled nation is very much evident.
Pakistan had initially floated tenders to acquire six submarines from the Chinese but over time the final numbers have increased to eight. China is believed to be offering the S-20 which is based on the Type-039A/Type-041 Yuan-class submarine and is believed to be developed for exports. The sub comes with VLS tubes for Launching YJ-2 (YJ-82) anti-ship missiles, arming the submarine with Pakistani missiles is possible, but most of the Pakistani Missiles have to be redesigned to fit inside the submarine and the technology required is very demanding. Pakistan acquiring a second strike capability through these subs is very minimal and these submarines are not designed to be equipped with ballistic missile capabilities. The Koreans are known to have pacts with Pakistan and the international community strongly believes the involvement of the North Koreans in Pakistan nuclear program.
The few questions which have plaques the minds of several countries will be answered soon once the Pakistani submarines surface and the questions of the Korean development will be shortly answered by the international community. It has to been seen if the Pakistani’s will ever with Koreans for they run their machines through the US treasury and involvement with the Koreans will surely bringing it to a grinding halt.
|North Korean SLBM|
|Pakistani Agosta Boat|
|DPRK SLBM Test|